What is the Global Solutions Institute (GSI)?
Global Solutions Institute (GSI) and the related Global Technology Expo for Deployment Demonstration (GTED2) are a platform designed to help companies developing problem-solving technologies scale much more rapidly to meet world needs much more quickly than they would be able to using existing traditional methods.
Key world thought leaders believe that problem-solving innovations will come but, in the words of Bill Gates, “[i]t takes a long time between when you invent something and when it gets fully deployed” (https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=tmk0VpSwUcs). We created the GSI/GTED2 network and system to address this issue by accelerating the global deployment of problem-solving solutions.
The GSI/GTED2 project was conceived during a unique Joint Meeting in Little Rock in December of 2012 between the more than 100 former Presidents and Prime Ministers of the Club de Madrid (www.clubmadrid.org) and the P80 Group founded by HRH Prince Charles (http://www.globalsolutionssummit.com/ p-80-group-foundation.html). The result of this meeting was the signing of the “Little Rock Accord,” pursuant to which the parties agreed to work with large Pension and Sovereign Wealth Funds and others to accelerate the deployment of technologies and other problem-solving solutions.
After signing of the Little Rock Accord, the parties formed a Planning Committee of more than 200 people from all over the world which has steered the development of GSI towards the exclusive goal of helping to deploy technologies and other problem-solving solutions as rapidly as possible, at scale, and both domestically and globally. To that end, GSI continues to develop a comprehensive network of different types of “deployment channels.”
GSI now serves a unique role as a Center or Hub of a system and network to facilitate and coordinate the work of various partners whom all play a role in domestic and global technology deployment. GSI determines what the different organizations do and how they can fit together in a system. There is no other global organization like GSI which has identified and organized so many existing organizations to support the accelerated deployment of problem-solving solutions/technologies. GSI’s work includes addressing the key areas of (a) identifying solutions/technologies; (b) supporting various financial tools to help finance technology deployment; (c) developing “deployment channels” to help more people learn about the potential solutions; and (d) mobilizing stakeholders to help develop the partnerships necessary to deploy the technologies.
Some of the technology sectors in which GSI operates include energy, food, water, environment, and healthcare/public safety.
The general deployment sectors for GSI are for sustainable solutions/technologies most useful for (a) cities, urban areas and island states; (b) less developed countries; and/or (c) technologies most useful for corporations/businesses.
What is the GSI Fulbright Initiative?
The GSI Fulbright Initiative is for the first time ever identifying, organizing and mobilizing some of the more than 200,000 Fulbright Scholar Alumni globally to become involved in solving global problems by accelerating deployment of proven technologies and other problem-solving solutions. Many of these Fulbright Alumni are very successful in their respective countries (in Vietnam 60% of the Government Ministers were Fulbright Alumni).
Interested Fulbright Alumni will be forming Fulbright Committees (working groups and partnerships) to assist with technology deployment in their respective countries. Many companies have problem-solving technologies that can be deployed globally but lack reliable partners in different countries to be deployment partners. With the development of social media platforms, it becomes easier to connect and manage these relationships with the GSI Fulbright Committees.
Each GSI Fulbright Committee will operate as a “two-way street.” GSI will notify the GSI Fulbright Committee of technology or other solutions to a problem that has worked in another country. The Committee will then study it to see if it might be useful in their country and if so, will help identify people interested in deploying it in their country. Conversely, if the Committee identifies a problem in need of a solution or has a solution that they themselves have developed, they will inform GSI. GSI/GTED2 is designed to match problems with solutions and then scale the deployment of the solutions globally as rapidly as possible.
GSI Fulbright Regional Centers are being created to train interested Fulbright Scholars currently studying in the USA on how they can create a GSI Fulbright Committee in their country upon their return home. On May 22nd, 2019 an MOU was signed creating the first GSI Fulbright Regional Center which will be located at the University of California Irvine’s Center for Global Leadership and Sustainability.
The GSI Fulbright Initiative is coordinating all of its activities with the University of Arkansas Fulbright College, The Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, the US Department of State, the Fulbright Association and the Fulbright Family. It is anticipated that the first Global Solutions Institute Fulbright World Leaders Summit will be held in 2020 and will involve representatives of GSI Fulbright Committees, other notable Fulbright Scholar Alumni, and other world leaders.
What is the Fulbright Scholarship Program?
The Fulbright Program is a United States Cultural Exchange Program whose goal is to improve intercultural relations, cultural diplomacy, and intercultural competence between the people of the United States and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills. It is one of the most prestigious and competitive fellowship programs in the world. Via the program, competitively-selected American citizens including students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists, and artists may receive scholarships or grants to study, conduct research, teach, or exercise their talents abroad; and citizens of other countries may qualify to do the same in the United States of America.
“The Fulbright Program aims to bring a little more knowledge, a little more reason, and a little more compassion into world affairs
and thereby increase the chance that nations will learn at last to live in peace and friendship.”
— Senator J. William Fulbright
In 1945, Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas proposed a bill to use the proceeds from selling surplus US government war property to fund international exchange between the US and other countries. With the crucial timing of the aftermath of the Second World War and with the pressing establishment of the United Nations, the Fulbright Program was an attempt to promote peace and understanding through educational exchange. On August 1, 1946, President Harry S. Truman signed the bill into law, and Congress created the Fulbright Program in what became the largest education exchange program in history.
The Fulbright Program is administered by cooperating organizations and operates in over 160 countries around the world.
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State sponsors the Fulbright Program. The Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board is a twelve-member board of educational and public leaders appointed by the President of the United States and receives funding from the United States Congress via annual appropriation bills. Additional direct and in-kind support comes from partner governments, foundations, corporations, and host institutions both in and outside the US. In 49 countries, a bi-national Fulbright Commission administers and oversees the Fulbright Program. In countries without a Fulbright Commission but that have an active program, the Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy oversees the Fulbright Program.
Fulbright alumni have occupied key roles in government, academia, and industry. Of the 325,000+ alumni:
• 84 have received the Pulitzer Prize;
• 72 have been MacArthur Fellows;
• 59 have received a Nobel Prize;
• 37 have served as head of state or governments; and
• 1 has served as secretary-general of the United Nations.
When and how was the GSI Fulbright Initiative conceived and launched?
At the 2016 Club de Madrid – P80 Reunion Proceedings and Global Solutions Summit a delegation of several Fulbright Scholar Alumni from Vietnam met with a member of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, the Chair of the Club de Madrid Fulbright Committee, other Fulbright Alumni, and various interested parties. The Vietnamese delegation had the idea to form a GSI Committee of Fulbright Alumni in Vietnam that would work with GSI to identify and deploy problem-solving solutions and technologies to Vietnam.
On Monday, November 6th, 2017 in Washington, DC, a Panel Discussion Concerning the GSI Fulbright Initiative took place during the Fulbright Association Annual Meeting Proceedings. In addition to the Panelists there was also participating in the Proceedings a large group of US Fulbright Scholar Alumni, US State Department Officials, Fulbright Chapter and Commission Representatives from several countries, representatives of several colleges and universities, Delegates to the Fulbright Association Annual meeting, representatives of the Global Solutions Institute/GTED2 and others. The GSI Fulbright Initiative Panel included:
a. Senator Mark Pryor, Former United States Senator and then Vice-Chairman of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board;
b. Michael Eckhart, then the Senior Executive and Director of Sustainable Finance at Citibank;
c. Steve Darr, CEO of Peacework Development Fund;
d. David Gill, Director of Technology Deployment at Heifer International;
e. Jamal Abisourour, Director of Technology Deployment at SEAF Funds Group; and
f. Mark Grobmyer, Chairman Global Solutions Institute/GTED2 and Managing Director P80 Group Foundation
The Panelist stated that the GSI Fulbright Initiative’s goal is to reach out to the Fulbright Alumni in many countries who may be interested in organizing, connecting through social media, and becoming involved with GSI. Many of these Fulbright Alumni are prominent leaders in government, business, education, nongovernmental organizations, or other important sectors of the global economy.
The benefits of identifying and organizing Fulbright Alumni in countries all over the world to become more involved in problem-solving and technology deployment was noted by several of the Panelists. For example, Mike Eckhart representing Citibank noted that Citibank works in more than 160 countries around the world and the benefits of networking with interested Fulbright Alumni in these countries are obvious in helping to solve global problems.
How will the GSI Fulbright Committees be organized?
Several GSI partner organizations, such as NGOs, have operations in various countries around the world and can help locate local Fulbright Alumni who may be interested in forming a GSI Fulbright Committee in their respective countries. Those interested in forming a GSI Fulbright Committee will be linked to the FSI Fulbright Web Platform so they can obtain the necessary information. All the Committees will be linked with social media to GSI to ease the flow of information.
GSI is also working with the Fulbright Association, the US Embassies, Club de Madrid Fulbright Members, Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors in Washington and others.
While the Fulbright Alumni in each country that may be interested in participating with GSI/GTED2 may not be very large in number, their level of interest and capacity to “get things done” in their home countries is significant and should not be underestimated.
If there is an active Fulbright Alumni Association or Fulbright Commission in a country that is interested in involvement with this Initiative, establishing a GSI Fulbright Committee will be much easier and will move more quickly. Nevertheless, GSI understands that in many cases these Alumni Associations may have other priorities, so while their participation is most welcome, it is not a requirement.
It seems like it may take a long time to identify people interested in forming GSI Fulbright Committees in more than 160 countries. What can be done to accelerate the development of GSI Fulbright Committees?
Each year there are some 3,000 Fulbright Scholars studying at universities all around the USA. To reach out to these Scholars and explain the concept to them GSI is establishing GSI Fulbright “Regional Centers” in partnership with Universities all over the country.
The universities which will participate are designated GSI Fulbright “Regional Centers.” They are willing to host a meeting of current Fulbright Scholars studying at their university as well as invite current Fulbright Scholars from other universities in their region to learn about the GSI Fulbright Initiative so that when they return to their respective countries they can help develop connections with other Fulbright Alumni who may be interested. This is a way, over time, to develop GSI Fulbright Committees in all of the 160 Fulbright Program countries.
How will the Fulbright Regional Centers operate?
Hosting a Fulbright Regional Center meeting will be similar to a university hosting a debate tournament, track meets or another regional event. They do not require a large budget. Merely providing a meeting venue, coffee/water, box lunch, and suggestions on where the visitors might book overnight accommodations if needed is sufficient (attendees may also be limited to those within driving distance such that overnight accommodation may not be necessary). GSI also plans to involve the local US Fulbright Alumni Association Chapters, as they may want to support the Regional Center in some way.
The participating universities will provide GSI with the names of colleges and universities within an approximate 150-mile radius of their university. The US State Department can then provide information about how many Fulbright Scholar Students are currently studying at those institutions so that they may be invited to attend a GSI Fulbright Briefing at the GSI Fulbright Regional Centers.
What sort of information will be provided to the Fulbright Scholars attending a Regional Center Meeting?
GSI has developed the “tool kit” for GSI Fulbright Committee Formation that will be presented at the GSI Regional Centers briefings.
This includes topics such as:
a. How to join and utilize the GSI Fulbright Initiative website social media platform.
b. How to structure and operate GSI Fulbright Committees and Sub-Committees so they are consistent with similar operating procedures and bylaws.
c. How the Committees can recruit the best committee and subcommittee members and the committee members can know what is expected of them.
d. What a GSI Fulbright Committee should do when GSI sends the Committee notice of a new problem-solving solution including a technology. This would include undertaking an assessment of the need or usefulness (market) for the solution and/or technology in their country.
e. What a GSI Fulbright Committee should do when the Committee would like to send GSI notice of a new problem-solving solution including a technology that has been developed or utilized in their country so it can be shared with GSI Fulbright Committees in other countries.
f. What a GSI Fulbright Committee should do when the Committee would like to send GSI a notice of a request for a problem-solving solution to address a problem currently facing their country. This will activate GSI seeking a solution to the problem in question.
g. How a GSI Fulbright Committee can undertake a search for qualified parties in their country to deploy a new problem-solving solution including distributing a technology. This includes a training component if needed and developing relationships with NGOs and others involved with GSI that may have operations in the country.
h. How a GSI Fulbright Committee can explore with GSI obtaining the resources to finance and develop business models to manage the deployment of a new problem-solving solution/technology the GSI Fulbright Committee is assisting in bringing to the country.
What does Senator’s Fulbright’s family think about the GSI Fulbright Initiative?
Senator Fulbright’s Grandson, Mr. Willy Foote, CEO of Root Capital, presented the following letter at the launch of the GSI Fulbright Initiative:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Last December, it was my pleasure to participate in the announcement of Global Solutions Institute (GSI)’s plans to develop its Fulbright Initiative, and to dedicate a related Historic Fulbright Exhibit. For those who aren't yet familiar, the GSI Fulbright Initiative involves developing a new “mission,” where Fulbright Alumni around the world can become involved with the GSI and its partners to help develop and implement solutions to global problems.
I also want to share the interesting story of how this Fulbright Initiative was inspired. When the Ambassador from Vietnam to the United States spoke at the Clinton School of Public Service he mentioned that he was a Fulbright Alumnus, as were 60% of his country's Government Ministers including the Foreign Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Science and Technology Advisor. He noted how keen they all were to do as all good Fulbright Alumni do: match problems with solutions and then accelerate the deployment of those solutions. This sparked an investigation into the Fulbright Alumni in other nations, which, no surprise, turned out to be some of the most knowledgeable, respected, and influential individuals serving in government, civil society, and the private sector of their respective countries.
As one of Senator Fulbright’s grandchildren and as founder and CEO of Root Capital (which itself works to ensure a future of sustainable peace, prosperity and planet in developing countries), I am delighted to join in partnership to support this Fulbright Initiative with GSI, the Fulbright Association, the Fulbright Board and the University of Arkansas Fulbright College. (As some of you may know, my Grandfather was President of the U of A, and his official papers are there).
We are hopeful that this initiative will reach the many Fulbright Alumni around the world to give them the opportunity to organize, connect through social media and become involved with the GSI. A note: GSI now involves many global organizations, including the more than 115 former Presidents and Prime Ministers of the Club de Madrid.
Though an unavoidable scheduling conflict made it impossible for me to be with you at this year's Fulbright Association Annual Meeting, please know that I am with you in spirit and that I look forward to working with you and others to fully implement the GSI Fulbright Initiative. I am sure that my grandfather would applaud your efforts and appreciate the fact that this Fulbright Initiative builds on his work over the decades to develop the amazing Fulbright Alumni Network and to make the world a better place for all.
My very best wishes for a successful conference, and my and my family's gratitude for all that you do.
— William Fulbright Foote
How can I help create a GSI Fulbright Committee in my country?
Click the Contact Us button below or call 1 (501) 960 8564 and information specific to your request will be sent to you along with a suggested time and day for a conference call to discuss the next steps towards forming the GSI Fulbright Committee in your country.